Frank thinks back, “Decades ago, I hiked down into the Feather River Canyon with my daughter Gracy to explore a hidden treasure I had discovered off the beaten path. You could hear it before you saw it…a thirty foot waterfall, flowing into a beautiful lagoon. Not too long after that visit, I began to do a painting of this magical place. Over the years, I’ve found opportunities to do a bit more work on the picture, including a couple of parrots known to travel the canyon…escapees from pet owners.
Today, it looks like I’ve got the finishing touches in place. And in honor of Gracy’s birthday today, here is the 48″W x 36″H acrylic on canvas…
Oh…yes, Happy Birthday Gracy!
From Dad, Mary and Ziggy
The Evening Grosbeaks returned earlier this year than last, which was in March. It is great to see the gregarious flock come flying in. They are usually in a group of 6 or 8, playing with and feeding each other. During this visit they descended onto the maple trees to enjoy the whirligig seeds.
We are like children building a sandcastle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of coloured glass. The castle is ours, off-limits to others. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sandcastle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
In the 23” x 20” framed acrylic on wood painting below, Frank gets whimsical with some Asian characters, have two stick figures joyfully jumping a hurdle together, ripping through the fabric of space and time. This piece is part of an infinity bubble series.
Finding a realistic and sustainable joy is often easier with a trusted partner or group.
Today’s post features a painting hanging in the Art and Zen Sanctuary.
This work is painted in acrylic on a hand-crafted custom wood panel, painted around the 1.75″ edges and measuring 96” x 24” with rounded corners. This art is now employed as a mirror imaged background for the composite header now at the top of each page, along with our enlightenment frog sitting as a guide.
The significance of the lotus flower in the Zen tradition is about beauty rising out of the muck where it grows. This is similar to freeing our minds through meditation, rising above the mess around us in the world today.
Bless you all as you deal with task of finding the best space to elevate your consciousness.
“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays.
Man alone measures time.
Man alone chimes the hour.
And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.”
― Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper
Being in the moment is the Zen solution.
Our vow: Be where we are, require nothing…accept everything. Easier said than done, but keep at trying, that is all we can do.
As we mark the passage of the old year and look forward to new horizons, it might be worthwhile to take a look back at our past and consider how quickly a moment passes.
Frank’s portrayal of his grandchildren a decade ago, playing in the sand, is incorporated into this 18″ x 30″ acrylic on wood painting “Sand Castles.” Also featured is the Old Charleston (Morris Island) lighthouse, built in 1876. It is the third tower to occupy that space, the first built in 1767.
His grandson is now in the U.S. Air Force and will complete basic training next month. His granddaughter will be graduating high school in two years. The poignancy of this fleeting moment of childhood is echoed in the old tower, with its outdated technology and the encroaching sea. And yet it still stands, proud, battered, the stories of lives redeemed written in every brick.
We can choose to look back with sorrow and regret or move on with indifference and thoughtlessness. Or we can bless the moment and then let it go. It is our choice. We follow our lights as we can.
“…and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.”
The last line of Moby Dick by Herman Melville
We wish you peace and joy in 2014. Thank you for visiting this site.
Please come again.